Amid all the ongoing reports over the possible restart of the Premier League season, a clearer picture has been painted on where the 20 clubs stand on the matter.
As things stand, the UK government announced last weekend that they would begin to relax some of the lockdown measures put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks and months.
One of the things that decision will allow is the eventual resumption of sporting events, albeit behind closed doors. This week, it has been suggested that Premier League games will resume from either June 12 or June 19 as players prepare to return to training this month while reports note that various plans are being drawn up on how games will be televised.
However, there are still a number of crucial factors involved in such a decision, and it needs a majority of the 20 clubs in question, if not all of them, to be in agreement on the plan moving forward as there are doubts over player safety, where games will be played and if players might refuse to train over safety concerns.
So where do they stand? The Mirror have handily put together a post which clearly details their attitude towards the restart of the Premier League season and what their potential issues are as things stand with 92 games remaining to be played and crucial outcomes to be determined.
It’s noted that Premier League chief executive Richards Masters has spoken about the idea of ending the season early, although he warned that could result in a financial cost of over £1billion given the losses in broadcast and sponsorship revenue. In turn, it’s no surprise that collectively, all 20 clubs are said to want to finish the season.
Here’s how the Mirror say the clubs stand on ‘Project Restart’…
Arsenal – Desperate to return
Aston Villa – Against neutral venues, and relegation if season ended early
Bournemouth – Against neutral venues
Brighton – Against neutral venues, and relegation if season ended early
Burnley – Keen to return
Chelsea – Ready to return, but have safety concerns
Crystal Palace – Very keen to return
Everton – Keen to return
Leicester City – Ready to return
Liverpool – Relaxed but ready to return
Man City – Relaxed over return, player welfare concerns
Man Utd – Keen to return
Newcastle United – Ready to return
Norwich City – Against relegation if season ended early
Sheffield Utd – Keen to play to a finish
Southampton – Keen to return
Tottenham – Desperate to return despite reservations
Watford – Against neutral venues, and relegation if such venues used
West Ham – Against neutral venues, player safety concerns
Wolves – Ready to return
Based on the above, one of the biggest and most glaring issues beside player safety is the use of neutral venues, as many clubs are seemingly against it. That’s understandable as even if games are played behind closed doors, it still gives them an advantage and it could be a crucial factor in the outcome of the remaining games.
In order to get past that, the authorities, clubs and respective police forces must come to an agreement on allowing games to be staged as the usual stadiums, and can guarantee safety of all concerned as well as being in a position to adhere to social distancing measures particularly if fans turn up and congregate outside.
Whether or not that’s possible remains to be seen…